Proof of Deer on South Harris
The pristine wilderness of South Harris is a place where one can glimpse all sorts of creatures. But in recent years, there has been little chance of seeing a deer outside of their mountain keeps in rugged North Harris. Significant herds of yesteryear had been shot off by hungry locals and visiting sportsmen. There was also the impediment of something called ‘Tarbert’ in their way. The main town of Harris has the Nordic name that means ‘crossing point,’ but it is fair to say that few deer saw it that way, and this township effectively blocked their routes back from north to south.
But somehow, deer are now back in South Harris, and we can prove this due to our electronic surveillance of areas of the estate. As these snaps show, collected by remote camera, young stags and hinds are well at ease on South Harris.
So where have they come from? These are red deer, and our view is that they swam across to Harris from Taransay, probably making the crossing to Luskentyre beach, which for those in the know, means this is quite a trip (humans usually need Coastguard intervention mid-point). So this is a welcome development, and we hope that the deer thrive as they once did, as this group have the makings of a herd. And we know that they can prosper in the Hebridean environment, if they do not collide with fast moving pieces of lead.
Borve Lodge ready for Guests
We present here some snapshots from within the Lodge, in a first glimpse of the extensive renovation project that is now complete, as we will shortly be receiving our first guests.
It has been a significant project, because the Lodge is of a certain size, and many systems needed to be updated. Our intention was to present a style more akin to that of a Sporting Lodge originally built in the 1860s, with an emphasis on simple luxury, rather than fuddy-duddy. New bathrooms have been installed, and all bedrooms completely revamped, so we can now comfortably accommodate up to 16 people. All bedroom suites have been named after former owners, to give greater historical resonance.We have a commercial kitchen to ensure guests are well fed and watered by a resident chef. Key communal rooms — the Blue Room and the Banquet Hall — are now really wonderful places to chill.
Behind the elegant frontage, serious work has been done on the backend. LED lights cast light into any murky corners. We have a new heating system throughout, powered by air source pumps, and this gives us a new level of comfort throughout: internal draughts have been banished. And yes folks, we have a new hot water system so that everyone can take a shower or bath at once, and need not suffer when one arrives dripping from the latest Hebridean shower.
We look forward to welcoming groups to the Lodge, which will be let on a fully catered weekly basis to all those who want to enjoy the unique offerings of Harris from a luxurious vantage point.
The Sea Trout are Here
The Fisheries Trust has in recent days undertaken its evaluation of the migratory sea trout, which at this time congregate to ascend into our Laxdale River system. The point of the exercise is very serious. Sea Trout only wander about the near coastline, perhaps only 12 miles away, so their state of health is a key indicator of various dynamics of the waters around Harris.
The procedure is that fisheries officers net the Sea Pool, just outside Loch Fincastle, in order to get an accurate snapshot. This action yielded dozens of sea trout, mostly smalt, but some larger specimens too. The smaller fish were anaesthetized, weighed, measured and assessed for presence of sea lice, before being released.
It is a fastidious process, but the verdict is that there are no issues with the health of the sea trout approaching the estate’s Laxdale system, according to the officer in charge. Welcome news, and now, all eyes are on the system for the arrival of the salmon, which will be in a few weeks. The estate welcomes serious anglers this season, and the Fincastle fishing hut has been recently revamped to make it a comfortable retreat after doing some serious casting. In fact, we think it is the best fishing hut in Scotland.